Breakfast at The Wolseley

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Despite having lived in London for 8 years now (yep, time flies) I haven’t had the pleasure to eat breakfast at The Wolseley until this year. Bad planning on my part, obviously. But at least I’ve been there for several lunches, dinners and afternoon tea. But there is something special about breakfast in this fabulous art deco space with perfect eggs and perfect service. If you fancy reading up on the subject (and get the recipes), I highly recommend A.A. Gill’s book Breakfast at The Wolseleyit’s very good.

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For me, this is the ultimate breakfast experience because it’s so different from having breakfast in your own kitchen. There are lots of waiters and they’re there to pour water, take your order, serve the food and fetch you whatever you want. Their attentive and efficient and together with the perfectly executed food it makes it such a special experience.

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I had breakfast here with two of my best friends from Sweden when they were visiting. We needed some morning luxury and thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast here with Eggs Florentine (spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin) and an excellent bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

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We also enjoyed cappuccinos and freshly squeezed orange juice, and to finish this lovely basket of pastries. My favourite was the plain croissant, wonderfully buttery and flaky. If you also need this breakfast experience in your live (you do), I urge you to book a table well in advance as it’s a very popular weekend treat.

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB

Drinks at Bar Americain, Piccadilly

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Although this is a food blog, I quite often get the question of which bars to go to, so I thought I’d post a few favourites as and when I’ve been.

One favourite where I recently took my visiting friends from home, Daniel and Maria, is Bar Americain, part of Brasserie Zèdel by Piccadilly. Set in a lovely art deco bar it feels like you’re stepping back in time. Especially as the hostess greets you in a flapper dress and the bartenders and waiters wear bow ties. It’s just one of those comfortable not-quiet-but-not-too-loud bars that I like. It’s busy and buzzing but you can carry a conversation without shouting. And sit comfortably while you sip your cocktail.

Bar Américain, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED

Gaucho, Piccadilly

A little while ago now, we managed to meet up with Ian and Anna for dinner at Gaucho, this meat-centered restaurant serving Argentinian steaks.

There are a few Gaucho’s to choose from in London, and we settled for the Piccadilly branch in between Piccadilly and Regent Street. The decor is typical for the chain of restaurants and consists of a lot of cow skin, dark wood and dimmed lights.

Anna and I had been shopping during the day so we took the opportunity to sit down with a drink and relax before the boys arrived. I had a glass of sparkling wine and Anna fresh cranberry juice. When the boys arrived we were directed upstairs to the dining room. We thought it would be quite empty on a Sunday night, as we haven’t seen many prople arriving when we were in the bar, but the dining room was almost full.

The menu at Gaucho’s was a bit disappointing with regards to starters and desserts, but the steaks (the reason we were here) did not disappoint. A waitress also walks around the restaurant with a big wooden board displaying the different cuts of meat and explains to the tables what cuts they are and how they are best cooked.

The menu was a bit disappointing with regards to starters and desserts, but the steaks (the reason we were here) did not disappoint. A waitress also walks around the restaurant with a big wooden board displaying the different cuts of meat and explains to the tables what cuts they are and how they are best cooked.

We went straight to the maincourse. Anna decided on their burger which she found really food and especially the dressing with mayonnaise, mustard and red wine was superb.

Both Ian and I chose the fillet medallion. I asked for mine blue and Ian had his rare. We also ordered fries and sauce. Bearnaise (always) for me and peppercorn for Ian.

Christopher wanted a large steak and settled for 400g sirloin and the same trimmings as me. Christopher was the only one out of which was slightly disappointed, as he thought the steak was as good as the ones we eat at home. We normally I have sirloin, from Aberdeen Angus, just like these, so I could see his point. Because I ordered a cut I don’t eat as often, I was very happy with mine. It was cooked perfectly, had lots of flavour and was so tender I compared to to cutting butter. And this was with a normal knife I might add, no steak knives needed at Gaucho.

I really like Gaucho, and my meat was spectacular. The fries were just regular fries and to be honest a little on the soggy side. The bearnaise wasn’t thick enough and tasted a bit too much of tarragon, so there is room for improvement on other areas.